I live in Lagos, Nigeria. I work with Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, a non-profit, non-governmental and non-religious women’s human rights organisation that is committed to the promotion and protection of women’s human rights under the three parallel systems of law in Nigeria, namely customary, statutory and religious laws. The organisation that I work for is structured on feminist principles and aims to give women opportunities to be empowered. I have also been an active member of the network of Women Living Under Muslim Laws for several years.
I have worked as a trainer on gender, leadership, feminism, conflict resolution, gender budget analysis, human rights and ethics and have been involved in activism for political, civil and women’s rights for decades. At university I was a member of the Feminist Collective, president of Black Student Union for two terms, and also served as a women’s affairs officer for Castries North East Constituency in St. Lucia. I am a card carrying member of Saint Lucia Labour Party in the country of my birth, and ran the constituency office of the Member of Parliament for Castries North East. I represented St. Lucia as a gender expert at the United Nations on several occasions. I have lived and worked in Nigeria for many years. Prior to joining Baobab, I worked as the Executive Director of Women for Independence, Self-Sufficiency, and Economic Advancement (WISSEA) in Kano and the Coordinator of the Women and Law Program for Kano State. I serve as Chairperson of the Nigeria Coalition on the International Criminal Court (NCICC) and a board member of Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).
I call myself a feminist because I passionately believe and work for the liberation of women from patriarchy and patriarchal inequalities. To me, feminism is about equal rights between the sexes and equal opportunities for all.
Many African women fear being identified as a feminist even if the work they do is feminist oriented. In addition, we face a generation gap as there are still more older than younger women involved in feminist organising. We need to keep welcoming younger feminists to the movement and to look at strengthening the regional feminism response mechanism. In all my work I encourage young women to stand up for their rights with the understanding that their rights are non-negotiable.